Daily Digest: International Rugby on the brink of ruin - Agustin Pichot

Alex Broun 14/09/2018
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Good morning!

The Sport360 team are here bringing you our top stories on Friday.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day via Twitter and Facebook.

TOP STORY

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot believes international Rugby is at risk and the current financial model needs fixing.

The former Argentina scrum-half has called for a new 10-year blueprint for the game ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

World Rugby revealed 18 months ago a deal agreed in San Francisco was intended to give clarity to the global calendar until 2032 but now new talks on how to make international Rugby more viable will take place in Sydney later this month.

Pichot is keen to amalgamate June and November Tests into one block to make games more meaningful.

To read what Pichot had to say CLICK HERE.

Bill Beaumont (Chairman of World Rugby, left) and Agustin Pichot (Vice-Chairman)

Bill Beaumont (Chairman of World Rugby, left) and Agustin Pichot (Vice-Chairman)

FOOTBALL

Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel shut down conversation about their opening Champions League clash with Liverpool as he faced the media before Friday’s Ligue 1 match against St Etienne.

PSG have the chance to make it an unprecedented five straight wins to start the league season, but some questions on Thursday were already looking ahead to Tuesday’s trip to Anfield. But Tuchel was not interested.

“This is not the subject,” he said. “Today is about St Etienne and everyone in the club should be aware that it’s important.”

To read more from Tuchel CLICK HERE

Thomas Tuchel

CRICKET

The Asia Cup starts in the UAE tomorrow with the continent’s best fighting it out for the crown: India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Our man Denzil Pinto has put together all you need to know about the teams competing.

To read his Team Guides for Hong Kong and Sri Lanka CLICK HERE.

Lasith Malinga (R) and Angelo Mathews are part of Sri Lanka's squad

Lasith Malinga (R) and Angelo Mathews are part of Sri Lanka’s squad

TODAY’S FEATURE

Lewis Hamilton does not think he has put his championship challenge in jeopardy despite clocking up nearly 25,000 miles in just 10 days after launching his new clothing range.

Since winning in Italy to move 30 points clear of Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton has spent an incredible 53 hours in the air to promote his debut fashion collection with renowned designer Tommy Hilfiger.

First, Hamilton flew from Milan to London, to Shanghai, and then back to London, before travelling to New York where he enjoyed the support of American rap stars, Nicki Minaj, and Travis Scott, and Canadian model Winnie Harlow, as he unveiled his new line.

To read more from Mr Hamilton CLICK HERE

Lewis Hamilton has released his new clothing range

Lewis Hamilton has released his new clothing range

SOCIAL MEDIA

WHAT’S ON TODAY

AFL:  Hawthorn v Melbourne     13:30   OSN Sports 5 HD

FOOTBALL:  AGL    Bani Yas v Al Wasl    20:15   AD Sports 3 HD

GOLF:   Evian Championship – Round 2   13:30  OSN Sports 4 HD

RUGBY: Gallagher Premiership   Gloucester v Bristol  22:45  OSN Sports 4 HD

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Wallabies' David Pocock and Israel Folau return for clash with Argentina

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Flanker David Pocock and back Israel Folau were declared fit enough to be included in the starting line-up Thursday in a big boost for the Wallabies ahead of their weekend clash with Argentina.

Both players were late scratchings from Australia’s team against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, but were named in the run-on XV for their Rugby Championship showdown against the Pumas on the Gold Coast.

Folau injured his ankle in the opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand on August 18, while Pocock has been struggling with a neck issue after being targeted by the All Blacks in Auckland three weeks ago.

While Folau returns, he will be on the wing with coach Michael Cheika opting to keep Dane Haylett-Petty in the No.15 jersey after two standout displays at fullback.

Bernard Foley is again on the bench after Cheika’s experiment with Kurtley Beale at No.10 and Matt Toomua at inside centre paid off in their narrow 23-11 win over the Springboks.

Adam Coleman returns to Wallabies camp after the birth of his first child and will start as a replacement, while Sekope Kepu is set to earn his 97th cap after also being named among the reserves.

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Sonny Bill Williams' All Blacks return halted by tonsilitis

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Sonny Bill Williams’s much anticipated return to Test rugby was put on hold by tonsilitis Thursday when the ailing centre was ruled out of the All Blacks squad to face South Africa.

The All Blacks said early Thursday that Williams would start on the bench in Saturday’s Rugby Championship fixture, but he was scratched from the squad just a few hours later.

Williams, 33, missed the first two Tests against France last June, following knee surgery. He played 58 minutes of the third Test before injuring his shoulder, and has been out of action since.

The two-time World Cup-winner’s on-again, off-again return comes as Hansen announced wholesale changes for the Springboks match.

There are 10 changes to the run-on side and five on the bench in a strong All Blacks combination looking to extend their unbeaten record in the fourth-round Rugby Championship match.

Ryan Crotty, Sam Cane and Rieko Ioane all made the starting line-up after missing last week’s Test against Argentina because of injury.

Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett are reunited in the halves while Anton Lienert-Brown will play at outside centre.

Rieko Ioane returns from injury to the left wing, while Ben Smith moves to the right wing to make way for Jordie Barrett at fullback.

In the forwards, Sam Whitelock moves into the number four jersey, with Brodie Retallick injured, and Patrick Tuipulotu comes onto the bench as lock cover for his first Test of 2018.

Liam Squire and Cane return as flankers, with the Otago Highlanders’ Liam Coltman promoted to back-up hooker ahead of Nathan Harris.

The unbeaten All Blacks lead the Rugby Championship with 15 points from three bonus-point wins.

South Africa, Argentina and Australia have one win each, with South Africa second in the table courtesy of two bonus points.

When the All Blacks last played South Africa, in Cape Town last year, they scraped home 25-24 to complete a clean sweep of the championship, after comfortably winning the first leg 57-0 in New Zealand.

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